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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

  • 25 December, 2020

  • 9 Min Read

A new COVID strain in Nigeria

New strain of COVID-19 in Nigeria

GS Paper III - S&T Coronavirus (PT-Mains-Interview)

Context: Coronavirus is a highly important topic for UPSC Mains and Prelims examination 2021. It is a part of GS Paper II and GS Paper III under Science and Technology.

  • Another new variant of the novel coronavirus seems to have emerged in Nigeria.
  • The news comes after Britain and South Africa both reported new variants of the SARS­CoV­2 virus that appear to be more contagious.
  • The first Variant Under Investigation in December 2020 (VUI – 202012/01), also known as lineage B.1.1.7, is a variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The variant was first detected in the United Kingdom in October 2020 from a sample taken the previous month, and it quickly began to spread by mid-December. It is correlated with a significant increase in the rate of COVID-19 infection in England; this increase is thought to be at least partly because of mutation N501Y inside the spike glycoprotein's receptor-binding domain, which is needed for binding to ACE2 in human cells.
  • The new virus strains spread 70% faster with similar lethal effect; Cases reported in South Africa, Australia, Italy, Spain and parts of Europe.
  • This variant includes a mutation in the ‘spike’ protein. Changes in this part of the spike protein may result in the virus becoming more infectious and spreading more easily between people.

Source: Reuters


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